Jury & Awards
Meet Our Feature Film Jury
The Science New Wave jury celebrate scientific storytelling, drawing from the human and nonhuman worlds, and everything in between.
  • Fradique
    Fradique is an Angolan filmmaker that works between science fiction and magic realism. He is interested in invoking collective memories by juxtaposing the fictional with the observational. He is notable as the director of the critically acclaimed films Alambamento, Independência and Ar Condicionado (Air Conditioner), now playing on MUBI. Apart from directing, he is also a writer, producer, assistant director and editor. His first feature Air Conditoner won the 2020 Science New Wave Award at the 13th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival. A fable from the cacophonous streets of Luanda, Air Conditioner is an iridescently-charged rush of color and style.
  • Rachel Mayeri
    Rachel Mayeri is an LA-based artist working at the intersection of art and science. Her videos, installations, and writing projects explore topics ranging from the history of special effects to the human animal. Commissioned by Arts Catalyst and receiving a major award from The Wellcome Trust, she created a film expressly for chimpanzees – "Primate Cinema: Apes as Family," which subsequently showed at Sundance, Berlinale, and Ars Electronica. Currently she is at work on a project about the R/V FLIP, a Cold War research vessel built to rotate 90 degrees to study waves and sonar, as part of Oceanographic Art and Science: Navigating the Pacific for Getty's 2024 PST Art x Science x LA. A guest curator of the Museum of Jurassic Technology and professor at Harvey Mudd College, she teaches courses such as Animal Media Studies, Art & Biology, and Stories from the Anthropocene.
  • Emma Marris
    Emma Marris writes about science and the environment for National Geographic, Wired, the New York Times and the Atlantic, among others. Her latest book, on changing relationships between humans and animals, Wild Souls, came out in July 2021. She lives with her husband and two children in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Meet Our Short Film Jury
A trio of minds bringing together scientific rigor, narrative filmmaking, and bold experimentation.
  • Anna Lindemann
    Anna Lindemann calls herself an Evo Devo Artist. Her work as a filmmaker, composer, animator, and performer explores the emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo Devo). Her Evo Devo Art has been presented internationally at venues ranging from concert halls to natural history museums, including the ATLAS Center for Media, Art and Performance in Colorado, the Cantor Film Center in New York City, the State Darwin Museum in Moscow, and the SCINEMA International Science Film Festival in Australia. THE COLONY, Anna's latest art science performance film, received a Science New Wave Honorable Mention at the 13th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival. Anna holds a BS in Biology from Yale and an MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut where she has pioneered courses integrating art and science.
  • Hirofumi Nakomoto
    Hirofumi Nakamoto was born in Yokohama in 1986. He obtained a master's degree from the Graduate School of Film and New Media of Tokyo University of the Arts. He also studied contemporary art at the University of West England as an exchange student. The Silent Passenger, shooting hermit crabs in Okinawa, was selected for the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival. The Spacecraft Diaries 2016, diary film with mobile phone camera, was selected for the 2017 Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. Night Snorkeling, collaborate with Nao Yoshigai, shooting the coastal waters of the Miura Peninsula, was selected for the 2021 Visions du Reel. His series "Living Creatures Sci-Fi" series, in which he brings animals like crabs to artificial spaces like hotel rooms in order to reflect the tension between animals, his own self and the camera, was screened at many film and art festivals. In 2018, he moved to Zushi City in the Kanagawa prefecture and founded "Zushi Art Films", an organization, that holds lectures, workshops and screenings around film.
  • Ian Harnarine
    Son of immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago, going from nuclear physics to filmmaking might not seem like a natural transition, but for Ian Harnarine it was an obvious choice. His films include work for TED and Sesame Street, one of which earned an Emmy nomination. Harnarine's film Doubles with Slight Pepper, executive produced by Spike Lee, won the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canadian Academy Award. Caroni, the story of a West Indian domestic worker in New York, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and continues to be screened at festivals around the world. Harnarine is currently adapting David Chariandy's landmark novel Soucouyant and developing a feature adaptation of Doubles with Slight Pepper.
Meet Our Symbiosis Jury
These symbionts represent the art and science of co-existence and co-creation.
Learn more about Symbiosis 2021.
  • Sophie Tintori
    Sophia Tintori is the Symbiosis Director involved in the seleciton and mentoring of the teams this year. She is a research biologist and sometimes also an animator and science filmmaker. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at NYU, studying the genetics that contribute to the differences in radiation response among animals. As a filmmaker Sophia has created animated videos in many settings, including a pop-science series, educational workshops, college-level classroom materials, scientific grant applications, and documentary film.
  • Melissa Ferrari
    Melissa took part in Symbiosis 2020 with scientist Meilin Fernandez Garcia. Together, their film "Fathomless" took home the Symbiosis prize presented by Science Sandbox. Melissa is a nonfiction filmmaker, experimental animation artist & magic lanternist. Her practice engages with the politics of contemporary pseudoscience and skepticism, the history of phantasmagoria and documentary, and the mythification of science. Melissa's films and magic lantern performances have been shown internationally in venues such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Hauser & Wirth, and Ann Arbor Film Festival.
  • Ipek Ensari
    Ipek Ensari is an Associate Research Scientist at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University in New York City. She investigates machine learning and mHealth techniques for patient management of chronic diseases, with a focus on women's and minority health conditions. Her research revolves around the philosophy of "digital data for good"- maximizing the health benefits provided to the user/patient from their digital data. Ipek was a participant in the 2020 Symbiosis Competition where she was paired with Camille Hollett-French. The resulting short from their collaboration "ENDOMIC" (formerly "Paracyst") has been accepted to several festivals this year, including Slamdance, Loudon, and Dances with Films

Every year, ISFF celebrates films from our festival for their scientific, narrative and visual strengths thanks to our closest partners.

This year, we're proud to have One Fifty | WarnerMedia, Science Sandbox, Labocine & Nautilus as our film award partners.
Science New Wave Award
presented by One Fifty | WarnerMedia
Films in competition that propose bold, singular and oftentimes hybrid ways to communicate science. These films are considered to be visionary and outside of the (science) box
presented by One Fifty | WarnerMedia
Emphasis on narrative, storytelling related to this year's topic: "Resistance."

In Vivo Award
presented by Nautilus
Realistic and human depiction of a scientist or science on screen

presented by Labocine
Bold storytelling and hybrid aesthetics and narrative.

Symbiosis Award
presented by Science Sandbox
Film made in this year's Symbiosis competition that best embraces the idea of collaboration, scientific storytelling and originality.

Nautilus sponsors the
Avant-Garde Short Film Award.

Nautilus is a quarterly online and print science magazine. It publishes one issue on a selected topic each month on its website, releasing one chapter each Thursday. Issue topics have included human uniqueness, time, uncertainty, genius, mergers & acquisitions, and feedback.

Made on